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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 1085

Senator McMANUS (Victoria) - I do not propose to dignify the farrago that we heard from Senator O'Byrne by giving a long answer. I do not think it merits a long answer. He gave the answer to his own allegations. When Senator Carrick said that by accusing people of being members of the Croatian Liberation

Movement Senator O'Byrne. was accusing them of being responsible for the violence, Senator O'Byrne said: T did not say that'.

Senator O'Byrne - I did not say it.

Senator McMANUS - There you are. What is there to answer? He said that they are members of the Liberation Movement but he does not say that they are responsible for the violence. He has answered his own allegation. I think that his speech was of such a nature that it does not deserve to be dignified by giving it a reply, but he mentioned the Democratic Labor Party. He referred to what was said by Dr Cairns on a previous occasion this week. On behalf of the DLP I delivered a statement in which I denied what Dr Cairns had said. I referred to what he had done. I regret that the sections of the Press which gave prominence to Dr Cairns' allegation did not give any publication to my denial, on behalf of the DLP, in my speech yesterday. When I see that sort of thing happening I come to the conclusion that the Press code of ethics is a work of fiction.

In Australia there is hardly any organisation of migrants from behind the Iron Curtain which does not have a liberation front. There is a difference between a liberation front and a body which indulges in violence in this country. That is what Opposition senators do not appreciate or understand. There was a liberation front in this country which had members with names such as O'Byrne, Mulvihill, Cavanagh and McManus. As Opposition senators know, there was a liberation front, and the leader of their Party was one of the heads of it.

Senator Devitt - Did they blow up people?

Senator McMANUS - That is what I said. Opposition senators should be clear on this. They do not appear to be. There is nothing wrong in having a liberation front as long as its members stand merely for the liberation of a country and do not use violence or illegal methods to bring that about. There is nothing wrong with that.

Senator Little - Senator O'Byrne said that the Liberation Movement had nothing to do with the bombings.

Senator McMANUS - Senator O'Byrne. has said that Senator Cavanagh referred to the occasion when a prominent member of the Labor Party assisted in the burning of the British flag in the gutter on St Patrick's Day. He would not have much trouble remembering that. Let us be sensible about it. People are allowed to have a liberation front as long as it does not indulge in breaking the law or resorting to violence. This is one of the principles on which we act in this country.

Members of the Opposition are accusing and attacking these people for doing what was done by Marshal Tito. Marshal Tito left Yugoslavia, went to Russia and became the head of the Comintern section which dealt with Yugoslavia. It was his duty to organise revolution and overturn the government of the country by violent means.

Senator Devitt - Is this not happening in Australia?

Senator McMANUS - I can only say from my knowledge of the history of the Labor Party in this country that the Labor Party never downed or attacked the right of people to condemn tyranny in an overseas country and it conceded their right to form an organisation by peaceful means to advocate freedom in that country.

Senator Milliner - What if it was a communist country?

Senator McMANUS - I will repeat what Senator O'Byrne has said. He said that the liberation front does not blow people up. Senator O'Byrne is my authority for the the fact that the liberation front therefore cannot be attacked I think that what has been said in this debate is completely ridiculous and does no credit to the Senate.

Finally, I want to say that the Australian Democratic Labor Party - and I repeat my statement which the Press apparently does not want to publish - has had no association at all with any form of violence; we condemn the violence; and once the police report comes before the Senate we will support an inquiry for a royal commission if this course of action is justified.

Senator Devitt - How long would you wait?

Senator McMANUS - Look, this is just one great piece of nonsense and the honourable senator knows it.

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